Companies Office records

Older company records destroyed

Some Companies Office records dated before 31 December 2002 have been destroyed.

This follows a May 2009 review of Companies Office archived records. The review, conducted by the Registrar of Archived Documents, determined that many of those records no longer needed to be kept and they have either been transferred to Archives New Zealand or destroyed.

The situation relating to older records differs, depending on whether the entity was a company, an incorporated society or charitable trust, or another entity (such as an overseas company, friendly society or credit union).

All company documents filed with the Registrar since 1 May 2002 are available electronically from the Companies Office website. Key documents filed before that date are also available electronically. These include constitutions, prospectuses and liquidation/receivership documents.

If a company was removed from the register before 31 December 1999, the Companies Office website says, the file is likely to have been transferred to Archives New Zealand.

Records for companies removed since 31 December 1999 are likely to have been destroyed but some were transferred to Archives New Zealand and practitioners could check there to see if they are still available.

For incorporated societies and charitable trusts, all documents filed since April 2002 are available electronically. Prior to 2002, the last complete set of amended rules or trust deed variation are also available electronically.

Archived documents for incorporated societies and charitable trusts that were declared dissolved before 31 December 2002 have been transferred to Archives New Zealand.

The Companies Office has also transferred to Archives New Zealand documents for overseas companies, industrial and provident societies, friendly societies and credit unions that were removed from the relevant registers before 31 December 2002.

A search for any archived document can be made through the Archives New Zealand website

“If the records are not available electronically or through Archives New Zealand, the company or other entity should be approached directly for a copy,” the Companies Office says.

This article was published in LawTalk 739, 12 October 2010, page 15.